Autologous neutralizing antibodies increase with early antiretroviral therapy and shape HIV rebound after treatment interruption

Elmira Esmaeilzadeh, Behzad Etemad, Christy L. Lavine, Lauren Garneau, Yijia Li, James Regan, Colline Wong, Radwa Sharaf, Elizabeth Connick, Paul Volberding, Manish Sagar, Michael S. Seaman, Jonathan Z. Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Early initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) alters viral rebound kinetics after analytic treatment interruption (ATI) and may play a role in promoting HIV-1 remission. Autologous neutralizing antibodies (aNAbs) represent a key adaptive immune response in people living with HIV-1.We aimed to investigate the role of aNAbs in shaping post-ATI HIV-1 rebound variants. We performed single-genome amplification of HIV-1 env from pre-ART and post-ATI plasma samples of 12 individuals who initiated ART early after infection. aNAb activity was quantified using pseudoviruses derived from the most common plasma variant, and the serum dilution that inhibited 50% of viral infections was determined. aNAb responses matured while participants were on suppressive ART, because on-ART plasma and purified immunoglobulin G (IgG) demonstrated improved neutralizing activity against pre-ART HIV-1 strains when compared with pre-ART plasma or purified IgG. Post-ATI aNAb responses exerted selective pressure on the rebounding viruses, because the post-ATI HIV-1 strains were more resistant to post-ATI plasma neutralization compared with the pre-ART virus. Several pre-ATI features distinguished posttreatment controllers from noncontrollers, including an infecting HIV-1 sequence that was more similar to consensus HIV-1 subtype B, more restricted proviral diversity, and a stronger aNAb response. Post-treatment control was also associated with the evolution of distinct N-glycosylation profiles in the HIV-1 envelope. In summary, aNAb responses appeared to mature after early initiation of ART and applied selective pressure on rebounding viruses. The combination of aNAb activity with select HIV-1 sequence and reservoir features identified individuals with a greater chance of post-treatment control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberabq4490
JournalScience translational medicine
Issue number695
StatePublished - May 10 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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